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  1. #1
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    New Rule needed for PMs

    Because of the recent spamming by Fastservers of member's PMs, I think we need a new forum rule. What about something along these lines?

    "No company is allowed to solicit members by PM, unless the member specifically posts a request in the Ad forums OR unless a member specifically asks to be sent a PM with sales information*."

    *Of course, I know it's also against the rules to request someone to PM you, so you could forget the last part. However, I really think that rule needs to be changed. It might be better if people could ask to be PM'ed. Many here do it anyway.

  2. #2
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    Why not just contact mods if you get a PM you think you shouldn't have received?

    Especially, since the rules already state:
    We enforce a very strict policy regarding solicitation of our membership by Forum participants except in those Forum sections where advertising is expressly permitted.
    There is no best host. There is only the host that's best for you.

  3. #3
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    Chris, I certainly understand where you are coming from. However, I believe that reasonable sales PM should be allowed. For example, if I mention that I am interested in getting a server in the main forums, a sales rep should be able to send me a PM, because it is advantageous for both of us (I get more choices/options, he gets a sales opportunity). In fact, no one is hurted in this situation.

    It is only when the sales information is entirely unsolicited does it become spam. For example, sales rep sending PM blindly to everyone he sees. In this case, many are hurted (time wasted in reading), and few have gained (the sales rep got the sales, and a few find the information useful).

    Of course, a lot of us have expressed interest in service in the past, and I wouldn't want someone to contact me because I expressed interest 8 months ago.

    As a tip to every service provider out there: (and this is from Chicken), you should include the URL to the thread from which you got the lead from, so that the recepient would not mistaken you for unsolicited spam.

    Peter

  4. #4
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    So, if I casually mention in one of the non-advertising forums that I am looking for a host or that I don't have a host right now, you think that gives companies the right to solicit my mail? I respectively disagree Peter. Unless I put it in the request forum, I don't want PMs.

    If every host PM'd a member every time someone mentioned in their post that they had just left xyzhost.com, can you imagine the flood of PMs?

    BTW, fastservers was not the first or only company to do this. I just got tired of it, and decide to report it to the mods.

    I honestly believe that the Request forum is the proper place where a request should be responded to. Most of us consider our mail, even PMs, a bit private, and don't want it invaded by offers.

  5. #5
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    I think if the member posted something like "i need recommendations for a host that allows xxxx feature" then a company that supports that feature is well within their rights to PM the member.

    but, if the post is something like "i just left xxxx company" or "how is companyABC" and CompanyXYZ goes on to PM the member with a "host with us" message then that should be considered spam...

  6. #6
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    Originally posted by SoftWareRevue
    Why not just contact mods if you get a PM you think you shouldn't have received?

    Especially, since the rules already state:
    "We enforce a very strict policy regarding solicitation of our membership by Forum participants except in those Forum sections where advertising is expressly permitted."

    Thanks, SWR for pointing that out. I did contact the mods about it. Maybe that rule needs to be clearer or stricter. As it is now, it seems like most companies either don't understand or are ignoring that rule.

  7. #7
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    Originally posted by akash
    I think if the member posted something like "i need recommendations for a host that allows xxxx feature" then a company that supports that feature is well within their rights to PM the member.

    I don't agree with that either. If the person ask for host recommendations in a thread, then the recommendations should be posted in the thread. If the member wanted responses, then they should've posted it in the request forum.

  8. #8
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    Originally posted by akash
    I think if the member posted something like "i need recommendations for a host that allows xxxx feature" then a company that supports that feature is well within their rights to PM the member.

    but, if the post is something like "i just left xxxx company" or "how is companyABC" and CompanyXYZ goes on to PM the member with a "host with us" message then that should be considered spam...
    Agreed totally. But that would be kind of hard to enforce.

    Once in a blue, I see someone on here asking for a recommendation that I think we might be good for and I drop them a nice PM asking them to contact them if they are interested. I've done it like 4 times. I'd never do it just willy nilly though. Can't see any good coming from that for anyone.

  9. #9
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    Maybe the solution is just to put "No PMs please" in my sig or shut off my PM, if that's possible. I'm just glad that I didn't put my email address in my profile. I can imagine all the SPAM that I'd receive then.

    <EDIT>
    BTW, there are already 2 ways for members to solicit members here, and I think that is plenty. They can either 1) post a reply to Requests in the the Request forum, or 2) pay for an ad.

  10. #10
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    You can disable private messages in your profile.

  11. #11
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    Well, as someone said, if you seem like you are looking for services, then I also do not have a problem with members contacting other members about the services they provide. I think it is always a good idea to do a few things when you do this however...

    1) Say hello. Don't just shoot people offers, especially when they didn't specifically request it. Introduce yourself, mention that you are a member also, and that you'd like to know if it would be ok to send an offer.

    2) Always include the URL of the thread/post that prompted you to write that member. "I saw your post here <insert URL> and I wanted to know if I we could casually talk about your need(s) and maybe do business?"

    3) Be respectful. Don't just shoot a sales email to people without fully considering the above. People get enough spam that if you send a PM that sounds like a spam email, even if it is just one to one member, it won't be a good thing for anyone.

    These aren't rules, just common sense suggestions, based on how we handle complaints on the forum (we don't just warn people, we copy the post and the guidelines so they can see what the exact problem is). I think you'll find people more receptive to your services if you take a moment to send and actual PM or Emial and not just copy and paste the plans and prices.

    This is a community. Networking is natural and acceptable. I prefer to buy services from members than just 'off the web'. Just use some common sense and the tips above and I think everyone will be satisfied.



    *Chicken's two cents*
    HostHideout.com - Where professionals discuss web hosting.

    • Chicken

  12. #12
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    Well, now that I know how Chicken feels about it, I am disabling my PM.

  13. #13
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    Yes, that is your prerogative. We handle complaints when they are emailed in to us.
    HostHideout.com - Where professionals discuss web hosting.

    • Chicken

  14. #14
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    I had my first PM spam from a host (first from anyone actually) today, but in another forum. I am not looking for a host nor did I ever say I was in that particular forum. I forwarded the PM to admin.
    If you don’t like the road you’re walking on, start paving a new one.

  15. #15
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    Well, that's the thing to do.
    There is no best host. There is only the host that's best for you.

  16. #16
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    I'd suggest that the offending company be banned for 30 days for their first offense, and banned indefinitely if they do it again.

    Networking? Well, that's an interesting way to look at it. Since when did Spam become networking?

  17. #17
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    this all depends on your definition of SPAM

    my definition is something that is sent in BULK to everyone. if you show a slight interest to it and a company politely contacted you, wouldn't it be beneficial to you?

  18. #18
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    No, I wouldn't consider it beneficial. To me, if you didn't specifically request it, it is SPAM!... no matter how nice the spammer might be. Most spammers are nice btw, but being nice has nothing to do with it.

  19. #19
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    Originally posted by chrisb
    Networking? Well, that's an interesting way to look at it. Since when did Spam become networking?
    Spamming is not networking and not what I was talking about Chris. Your report (though posted on the forums, which is not what we'd like to see), was investigated. It was determined that you did not indicate you were interested in services and the situation was handled.
    HostHideout.com - Where professionals discuss web hosting.

    • Chicken

  20. #20
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    Originally posted by chrisb
    No, I wouldn't consider it beneficial. To me, if you didn't specifically request it, it is SPAM!... no matter how nice the spammer might be. Most spammers are nice btw, but being nice has nothing to do with it.
    That's not spam. Just because you are misguided about what spam is does not mean the board should change it's rules.

  21. #21
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    Originally posted by Chicken

    Spamming is not networking and not what I was talking about Chris. Your report (though posted on the forums, which is not what we'd like to see), was investigated. It was determined that you did not indicate you were interested in services and the situation was handled.
    Thanks for confirming that you did something about it. I appreciate that.

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